Dog Gives America Reason to Watch Cricket in Video Seen 1M Times

A dog on the loose scurried onto a field in the middle of a cricket match in Ireland Saturday, stealing the ball and the internet's attention in a video that quickly garnered a million views.

The video, posted by the Ireland Woman's Cricket Team, shows a Cocker Spaniel puppy named Dazzle run onto the field to join her owner, 16-year-old Aoife Fisher, who was batting at the time. Fisher plays for the Civil Service North of Ireland Cricket Club (CSNI), her family said in an interview with Newsweek.

When the family plays cricket at home, Dazzle plays with them, said Jonathon Fisher, Aoife's father. When Dazzle saw they Aoife play, she ran onto the field—assuming she could play like at home.

As Dazzle runs to the action in the video, a player throws the ball to a teammate, but the pup manages to catch it before proceeding to run around the field. Players and Dazzle's owner chase her, prompting laughter from the sportscasters.

🐶 Great fielding...by a small furry pitch invader!@ClearSpeaks #AIT20 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Oe1cxUANE5

— Ireland Women's Cricket (@IrishWomensCric) September 11, 2021

The players were able to take the ball back after a few seconds and continue on with the match.

"I think we've retrieved the ball. It may need a clean," one announcer joked. "I think this has brought COVID regulations to a whole new standard."

Jonathon Fisher said he was first concerned Dazzle was interfering with the televised game, and Aoife was nervous the umpire would be upset.

When the family was driving home from the game, they noticed the video had spread online "exponentially," Jonathon said. "It was quite intriguing how quickly it spread."

Jonathon's wife Patricia said she felt happy the video has given people "a giggle" after a difficult year in the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as Dazzle has done to the internet, she lightens the mood of the family, she said.

The small dog made its appearance Saturday during the All-Ireland T20 Cup's semi-final between the Bready Cricket Club and CSNI. Bready won the match but lost to the Pembroke Cricket Club in the final later in the day, according to Cricket Ireland.

Twitter users reacted to the video Saturday with jokes.

"The most ingenious ball tampering ever," wrote one Twitter user, @fatcat39.

"I believe that good boy waited so much that he could not resist anymore and had to run and catch that ball," wrote @MasterHeep.

Even people who do not usually watch the sport were captivated by the video.

"Finally! I LIKE Cricket! #DogsImproveSports," wrote sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann.

"I am not a fan of cricket but I would watch it if this was guaranteed to happen," wrote @emsmusicalmind.

Viral Cricket Dog Dazzle
Dazzle, pictured above, ran into a cricket game Saturday to join her owner, Aoife Fisher, in a video viewed more than 1 million times. Jonathon Fisher

Dazzle is not the first, of course, to join in on a sports game. Earlier in the week, another video went viral of a dog running onto the field of a soccer game in Chile and scoring a goal, drawing laughter from viewers. Unfortunately for the pup, a referee appeared to rule out the goal.

While cricket is popular in many parts of the world, it has struggled to break through in the United States. It is largely considered to be the most popular sport in India and among the more popular in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

In a statement to Newsweek, Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland's media and communications manager, said he did not think much about the video when he first posted it, but it soon drew 10,000 views—which quickly turned into a million.

"I thought it might get a ripple of reaction from those across the Irish cricket community," he wrote.